I’ll have a lot more to say about Barcelona later, because it was quite an amazing experience in so many ways and I am still processing everything. BUT… it would not have been anywhere near as happy for me if not for these two. I met Charlotte & Brian on one of my tapas tours last October and we really hit it off. So when I found out they have a second home in Barcelona and that they would be there early January, I planned to go there for my 65th birthday. But then… fucking Omicron happened, so I decided to stay put until hopefully things settled down. Then the Decanter commission came up and as luck would have it, Charlotte and Brian were going to be in Barcelona the same week I was planning to be there doing research – perfect timing!

Not only were they great company when we went out to the vineyards and out for dinner, Charlotte also kept me “company” on whatsapp during the week, and that really meant a lot. To be honest I had doubts about this trip, and not just Covid concerns. I hadn’t travelled anywhere (other than day trips) on my own since I went to Madrid in October 2019 and I was worried I might be hit by my old nemesis PANIC. Those of you who also suffer from panic attacks will know that even thinking about having an attack can bring one on, so just knowing Charlotte and Brian were there really eased my mind. Anyhow, more about Barcelona coming up next week. I’m so glad I went.